On view at the National Gallery of Canada Until September 10, 2017
Ottawa, May 25, 2017 – Ron Moppett and Damian Moppett, who are also father and son, are established Canadian artists whose works have been collected by the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) since the early stages of their respective careers. The Gallery acquired its first work by Calgary-based Ron Moppett in 1971, and the first work by Vancouver-based Damian Moppett in the early 2000s. Works by these two artists are presented together until September 10, 2017, for the National Gallery of Canada’s latest Masterpiece in Focus exhibition: Related Works: Ron Moppett and Damian Moppett.
"Inspired by a strong exhibition mounted by the Art Gallery of Alberta last year, this show also articulates the stories of how key works by each artist became part of the national collection, through purchase as well as donations from prominent Canadian collectors, as well as the artists themselves," said NGC Director and CEO, Marc Mayer. "We are very grateful to these generous donors."
Together, these works also present a dynamic exploration of the meaning and contemporary relevance of that fabled place of artistic production: the studio, folded into an engaging rumination of the role played by art and artists in everyday life.
Included in Related Works: Ron Moppett and Damian Moppett is Ron Moppett’s multi-panel production Whatif/Twilight (2008), a major work that was nearly destroyed during devastating floods in Calgary in 2013. National Gallery of Canada conservators spent one year successfully restoring the painting that was subsequently donated by the artist to the national collection in 2015.
Also featured and on view at the Gallery for the first time is a selection of more than 40 works from Damian Moppett’s Watercolour Drawing Project. Created between 2003 and 2011, these works on paper illustrate the artist’s own artworks and the work of others, either in the studio, on exhibition or in public space, along with other images of contemporary cultural life. Vancouver collector Bob Rennie had acquired the entire suite of more than 130 works, which he has generously donated to the Gallery as part of a major gift of art announced earlier this month.
Other works an important painting from the 1980s by Ron Moppett donated by Calgary patron Ken Bradley, as well as Untitled (Cardboard), 2010, a sculpture by Damian Moppett, generously loaned by Ottawa collector John Cook. The exhibition is organized by NGC Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Jonathan Shaughnessy.
"Although their respective production is entirely distinct, there are compelling linkages between these two artists connected by geneology but separated by a generation,” commented Shaughnessy. “Both Ron and Damian are dedicated to an exploration of the ‘work’ that artists have done throughout history and the manner in which materials get transformed in the studio, as well as the different relationships that artists have had with this space, especially since Modernism. The studio is a place of constant fascination for artists and public alike. This exhibition is a way to engage with two Canadian contemporary artists who are particularly gifted in addressing this subject.”
Since the late 1960s Ron Moppett has developed a distinct artistic vocabulary that combines paint, canvas, board, textiles and an array of found objects and often multiple panels into inventive pictures that combine abstraction and figurative traditions. The work of Damian Moppett comprises paintings, drawings, scuptures, videos and mixed-media installations that explore the systems and contexts in which art is made and encountered within today’s image-driven world. His Watercolour Drawing Project is central to these concerns, and has become an iconic body of work within the annals of Canadian contemporary art history.
Meet the Artists
On Saturday, June 17, at noon, join artists Ron Moppett and Damian Moppett as they discuss their work and art-making processes with exhibition curator Jonathan Shaughnessy. In the exhibition space C218. Included with admission to the Gallery. In English with bilingual question period.
NGCmagazine.ca, the National Gallery of Canada’s online magazine, is a frequently updated source of information on the Canadian art world and events at the National Gallery of Canada. Correspondents from across the country provide engaging and exclusive content on historical and contemporary art in Canada. This online magazine also includes interviews with artists. Read the article Related Works: Ron Moppett and Damian Moppett, by NGC Associate Curator of Contemporary Art and exhibition curator Jonathan Shaughnessy, now online.
Until September 30, the Gallery is open Monday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 6 pm, and Thursdays from 9:30 am to 8 pm. For more information call 613-990-1985 or 1-800-319-ARTS.
Tickets: $15 (adults); $13 (seniors); $7 (age 24 and under and full-time students); $30 (families: two adults and three youth). Admission is free for children under the age of 11 and for Members. Includes admission to the NGC Collection. Free admission on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm. Admission to the Gallery will be free May 21 to mark International Museum Day and July 1 for Canada Day.
About Masterpiece in Focus
Launched in 2013, the National Gallery of Canada’s Masterpieces in Focus exhibition series provides its visitors with an opportunity to learn more about their national collection, through rich and highly accessible content organized by the Gallery’s experts.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCan
About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to supporting the National Gallery of Canada in fulfilling its mandate. By fostering strong philanthropic partnerships, the Foundation provides the Gallery with the additional financial support required to lead Canada’s visual arts community locally, nationally and internationally. The blend of public support and private philanthropy empowers the Gallery to preserve and interpret Canada’s visual arts heritage. The Foundation welcomes present and deferred gifts for special projects and endowments. To learn more about the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, visit ngcfoundation.ca and follow us on Twitter @NGC_Foundation
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For media only: To obtain images, more information, or plan an interview, please contact:
Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada
613-990-6835 / [email protected]